Open Homes connects people with a free place to stay in times of need. The idea for Open Homes came from Airbnb hosts in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy hit New York, hosts decided to offer their homes for free to neighbors who were forced to evacuate. Inspired by their generosity, Open Homes became an official part of Airbnb.
Since then, it’s expanded to support evacuees, relief workers, medical patients, refugees and asylum seekers. We partner with trusted nonprofits like Mercy Corps, the International Rescue Committee, and the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation to develop the program and connect their clients with a free place to stay in times of need.
Open Homes stays are always free for the guests. Some hosts choose to host Open Homes stays for free by signing up with the Open Homes community. If you haven't signed up to host guests for free on Open Homes, you'll still receive your usual payment for your listing when you have an Open Homes booking. Airbnb waives all service fees for these reservations.
Open Homes hosts have many of the same expectations as regular Airbnb hosts. Hosts must meet Airbnb’s hospitality standards, which include accurately representing your listing and availability, as well as providing a safe, secure, and clean space for guests. All hosts and guests are required to uphold Airbnb’s community standards.
Almost anyone can sign up to be an Open Homes host. The listings available on the site are as diverse as the hosts who list them, and you can post shared spaces, private rooms, or entire homes. Find out more about home types to see how to describe your space.
Sometimes a staff member from one of our nonprofit partners will book on behalf of their client and may have additional requests based on their client’s needs. In these cases, the nonprofit staff member will communicate with the host ahead of time to make sure your space is a good fit.,
Open Homes provides free places to stay for people in times of need. The program supports evacuees, relief workers, medical patients and their caregivers, refugees, and asylum seekers.
If you’re a guest in need of emergency housing, learn more about how to book an Open Homes stay. Check this article and the Open Homes page regularly to find the most current programs and eligibility requirements, which are subject to change.
In the aftermath of a disaster, there is a critical need for emergency housing. In this instance, people impacted by the disaster, including relief workers, have the ability to submit their request for housing to Airbnb. After verification, they may book an Open Homes listing directly for themselves.
To be eligible for emergency housing, guests must reside in the impacted area or be a relief worker responding in an official capacity. Both permanent residents and travelers with a confirmed hotel or rental reservation are eligible. Guests are required to provide proof of address or confirmation of employment during the application process. Once they submit their application, their information will be reviewed by Airbnb or its vendors before they can book.
Learn more about Disaster relief stays.
Every day, people travel far from home for medical treatment. They may be receiving care, supporting a patient, or healing with family during a difficult time. In this instance, guests can book an Open Homes reservation directly for themselves, or a staff member from a nonprofit organization may book the reservation on their behalf.
In order to book, guests must be referred by a nonprofit partner. Each nonprofit has their own set of eligibility criteria for guests.
Learn more about Medical stays.
There are many barriers for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in a new place. Before settling into permanent housing, refugees and asylum-seekers need to finalize paperwork, search for jobs, and find a temporary place to stay. In this instance, a staff member from a nonprofit will book an Open Homes reservation on behalf of the guest. All guests have the legal status of a recognized refugee entitled to international protection as determined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and/or have begun the process of seeking asylum in the country where they currently reside.
Learn more about Refugee housing.
Open Homes provides free places to stay for people in times of need. In order to book an Open Homes stay as a guest, you must meet eligibility requirements and be approved.
If you've been impacted by a disaster and are in need of emergency housing, go to our Disaster Relief page to find events that qualify for an Open Homes stay. If you can't ind the event that you've been impacted by, free stays are not currently available.
After you submit your request, we may call you to check on additional details. If we can’t verify your information or it doesn’t meet our eligibility criteria, you’ll receive an email within 24 hours.
To be approved for a Medical stay or Refugee housing, you must be referred by a nonprofit partner. It isn't possible to apply for an Open Homes Medical stay or Refugee housing as an individual at this time.
Learn more about the nonprofits that we partner with on the Open Homes page.
If you’re approved, you'll receive an email inviting you to browse available stays. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Whether you signed up to host for free on Open Homes or have received an Open Homes booking request, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you prepare for your guests:
Hosting an Open Homes stay can be different across programs. Many guests referred by a nonprofit will have the support of a staff member throughout. You can learn more on our dedicated sites:
Learn more about Airbnb’s hosting standards.
A dedicated support team is available to all hosts, guests and nonprofit partners for issues and questions related to Open Homes reservations 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Contact us by emailing email@example.com. Airbnb’s community support specialists are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you encounter an emergency situation, or if your personal safety is threatened during a stay, contact local police or emergency services immediately.
If you need help from Airbnb with a safety concern, contact our Trust and Safety team.
Before the start of the stay, you can also read our safety tips.